Monday, April 21, 2014

BB Bronze

The BB craze is over and people have moved on to CC and DD creams (and even that is tired) but one unique (and iffy) variation of the BB cream was the BB Bronzing Cream from Bourjois. I love and trust Bourjois as a brand but this was just plain dubious. Despite this eyebrow-raising concept, when I saw it discounted to $5 in Priceline a couple of months ago; sold. Vivianna had written about how it bore some resemblance to the This Works Perfect Look Skin Miracle and Chantecaille Radiance Gel Bronzer but I bought it primarily to mix with too-pale foundation shades like the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum foundation in 52 Vanilla because I've used up the shade 53 Light Beige and I need a means of getting some wear out of the remaining lighter shade that I own.

Surprisingly I've been finding myself using the Bronzing BB Cream in three ways. The first is, naturally, wearing it alone. I use the tiniest amount and blend it in the skin using a synthetic-bristle brush- namely the Real Techniques Buffing Brush or Expert Face Brush- sometimes all over the face, others just around the edges where I'd apply bronzer. This isn't something I've been doing often because I've taken to using it the second way more regularly even on no-makeup days. While I have and love using the Biore UV Perfect Face Milk SPF50+, I fancy the idea of the La Roche-Posay Anthelios tinted sunscreen so by mixing it into sunscreen, it mimics the French brand's ultra-sheer tint which can be worn under mineral foundation, or over concealer, or just on its own. The third way of using it is the chief purpose of darker, bronzier products and that is to mix it into BB Cream or too-pale shades of foundation that is perfectly good otherwise. The product is more fluid than a foundation and rather dark and caramel-coloured on its own so caution is recommended because it's harder to take away than to add more.

The bottle claims 8-in-1 functions and like many of Bourjois' products, the promises are inflated. Bourjois foundations often claim 16 hour wear, and while they may be traceable on the skin after 16 hours, there's no guarantee the foundation looks passable after such a long period of time. This same applies to this- things like prolonging tan and smoothing skin seem somewhat unrealistic in my opinion. The amount you'd have to apply to imperfect skin in order to even out skin tone is also ridiculous because this stuff is dark. They boast about its scent and while it doesn't smell great or chocolaty or addictive, it doesn't smell bad at all either- a little coconut-y and a lot like the Bourjois Delice de Poudre 'chocolate bar' bronzer that I own and have hit pan on. Bottom line, the Bronzing BB Cream is good for bronzing up face products and adding warmth, but not much else in way of coverage or skincare.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Long Hair, Much Care

My hair is the longest it's ever been (down to my elbows) and while I do like having the length and the flexibility of having swishy girlish tresses, dead ends are no fun and require treatment, which made me realise that I hadn't yet posted about these products, which I've been using for months now. I pour less than a 5-cent coin-sized amount of product into my palm and smooth and pat it into my hair from the point of the earlobe down to the ends. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

March Favourites

March has proved to be productive in the spectrum of using and abusing beauty products: I lamented the end of an era when I finished my Bioderma Sebium, the REN Clearcalm Clarifying Clay Cleanser, Alpha-H Liquid Gold Rejuvenating Cream and another tube of Effaclar Duo from La Roche-Posay; I even found a product that I did not get along with at all. After squeezing the last dose of Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque from the tube I've gone back to using the Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque and after watching Lisa Eldridge speak about her face mask philosophy wherein she mentioned you could use clarifying, neutralising bentonite- and kaolin-based masks as cleansers, much like the REN clay cleanser I'd finished, I've started using the Mint Julep Masque as a clarifying cleanser on a more regular basis. I don't feel quite as extravagant as I would if I was using an Aesop or Origins mask (at under $4 a huge tube, the Queen Helene mask is not a luxury). Using the mask more regularly has helped to speed up my skin's recovery from breakouts and it's looking much better.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

No Deal

I had a toner-shaped void in my skincare routine and bought this impulsively in Priceline upon seeing the 'Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Formula' print on the bottle. Neutrogena's Pore Refining Toner is part of their new Pore Refining range, which includes a foaming cleanser and scrub, and to cut the chase, this toner caused me some pretty awful breakouts because of the alcohol content. The high alcohol content will strip the skin and dry it out, unbalance the acid mantle and create the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. (Source: Caroline Hirons) I should have read Paula Begoun's scathing review before even setting foot in the pharmacy; the alcohol content stimulates the production of more oil, while the peppermint and eucalyptus extracts are known irritants to sensitive skin.

It claims to visibly reduce the appearance of pores and refine skin to be clear, smooth and more even toned; sweeps away dead surface skin and smoothes over rough, uneven patches (sic), penetrates deep into pores to visibly reduce their appearance for clearer looking skin, skin is left soft, smooth and refreshed. Apparently it won't overdry skin, it's non-comedogenic (sic) and dermatologist tested. Ingredients include water, alcohol denat, glycolic acid, witch hazel water, salicylic acid, sodium lactate, aloe leaf juice, hydrogenated castor oil, alcohol, fragrance, eucalytus leaf extract and peppermint leaf extract. See Beautypedia link above for full list including weird chemical names and obscure abbreviations. 

I bought it hoping the AHA and BHA would be as effective as the Alpha-H Liquid Gold line (I've used up the Liquid Gold Rejuvenating Cream and lament the price of a repurchase) but this is going straight in the bin. Save your money, girls (and guys!) and go for Alpha-H Liquid Gold or at the very least, an alcohol-free formula.